HEST-Cluster on Ecology and Environmental Challenges
A webinar on the proposed Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) for Jesuit universities worldwide on sustainability and Ignatian values is scheduled on 17 December 2020 at 17:00-19:00 hrs (Central European Time)/8:00 -10:00 hrs (Pacific Standard Time).
There are many courses on sustainability in many universities across the world. However, it is felt that there is still a void that needs to be filled, and to which Jesuit universities can make an important contribution.
First, courses on sustainability mostly address only its environmental component but lack a careful consideration of social elements, and even more, an integral approach along the lines of the integral ecology proposed by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’.
Second, the ethical underpinnings of sustainability (which is, after all, an ultimately ethical problem) are typically not included, hence assuming either an implicit ethical paradigm or limiting themselves to the technical issues.
Third, deeper meaningful questions of one’s own personal and spiritual relationship to the natural world are rarely addressed in conventional environmental studies. For a Jesuit-inspired approach to sustainability, the meaningful questions that engage one’s inner spirit are indispensable.
We believe that in our Jesuit universities we are particularly competent in the academic, interdisciplinary knowledge required to present this integrated approach, and we also have a strong motivation to do it, given that the reconciliation with creation, and the concern for sustainability, is one of the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus.
We likewise have a Jesuit-sponsored resource to draw from for ideas and methods – the online textbook Healing Earth.
Thus this Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is proposed to be developed and made accessible through commercial platforms or through our individual universities’ platforms, allowing students and also a broader audience to join and understand the global challenges that humanity faces, how to interpret them from an integral ecology approach, and how to address them from an ethical point of view.
We would also like to invite faculty from all Jesuit higher education institutions who can bring their expertise and diversity to this course and make it a global Ignatian project.
In this webinar we will explain this proposal to all interested faculty. We will describe the envisaged contents of the course, as well as the materials and approach required from each potential contributor. We will also demonstrate the use of the online platform in which the course will be hosted.
The MOOC is open to Jesuit universities and their faculties interested in sustainability and is jointly coordinated by HEST, Comillas Universidad Pontificia, and the International Association of Jesuit Universities.
If interested to join, please register here. Information on how to join the webinar will be sent to all who register. For other queries, please get in touch with José Carlos Romero, Coordinator of HEST-Ecology, through his email: Jose.Romero(at)iit.comillas.edu.
The MOOC proposal is a project of the Higher Education for Social Transformation-Cluster on Ecology and Environmental Challenges (HEST-Ecology), a group of scholars from European Jesuit higher education institutions working on sustainability concerns and who had initial discussions on the MOOC development since 2018.